Advantages of Flying Spheres for AWE
1) Self Relaunch- The Flying Sphere Kiteplane
rolls like a ball self-orienting for self relaunch.
2) Snag Resistance- A Flying Sphere does not have any projections
to snag on kitelines. Even a motor/generator turbine is well contained
within the protective ring wings.
3) High Structural Integrity- No cantilevered wings and a strong
compression ball geometry allow for a lighter airframe.
3) Favorable Flight Dynamics- Ultra-stable flight with plenty of
balanced side area to fly sideways. 2-channel elevon control.
4) High Wing Area with Reasonable L/D- Proper kites need lots of
wing surface. Good ring wings have low induced drag. Care must be taken to
minimize interference drag at wing junctions. The best Robot Group Flying
Spheres had L/D > 8.
5) Suited for Arrays- The hollow center allows optimal bridling for
kite trains. Snag Resistance (2) is a special array kite virtue.
A disadvantage to Flying Spheres for AWE is the relatively greater
airframe complexity compared to classic kite types. They also do not
easily close-pack for shipping or storage unless designed to somehow
collapse like Prism's box kites.
~Dave Santos 2Nov2011
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